Wht to do when you can't remove lower ball joints? (GTV6) - Page 2 - Alfa Romeo Bulletin Board & Forums

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post #16 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-26-2017, 10:30 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Jim G View Post
Air hammer with a tapered chisel bit. Go around the ball joint putting it between the ball joint and arm. Also use a torch to heat the lower arm around the outside where the ball joint press in. Oxy/Acetylene torch is what you need to produce enough heat to break the rust bond. When you go to install the new one. Put them in the freezer for several days before putting them in the arms.
I guess that's the answer then! Thanks for the advice. I'm still soaking them in penetrant every day whilst waiting for my press to come, can't do any harm. The arms are now off the car, so that'll make the job easier. May as well change the lower arm bushings too while I'm this far in (all the others have been so far)...
Initially I was afraid to be too forceful around the rim between joint and arm but if it works for you, I'll give it a go. It's not as if I have many options at this point!

1975 Giulia GT1300 Junior, 1981 GTV6, some modern German stuff, and a 1958 Messerschmitt KR201.
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post #17 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-07-2017, 11:34 PM Thread Starter
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It's official: the hydraulic press isn't enough to remove these darn ball joints (!) So much for the workshop manual's approach. I've managed to compress the stud now, it's half the height and twice as fat as before. That'll have to be ground off flush with the top of the arm and the fire/chisel approach. Might do that today. One friend even suggested, if that doesn't work, trying to carefully cut through it (and not the arm) with oxyacetylene!

If only you could buy spare, ball-joint-less A-arms for this car easily enough...

1975 Giulia GT1300 Junior, 1981 GTV6, some modern German stuff, and a 1958 Messerschmitt KR201.
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post #18 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-08-2017, 12:37 AM
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Ball Joints.

Never Have I had trouble removing the ball joints like this. Hmmm someone must have a spare set of lower control arms you can use. I have a set here in Australia if you want to pay for the freight you can have them but there must be a cheaper option. Let us know how you go.

PS Its just not physically possible for the ball joint to not come out. Unless someone has welded them in you must be doing something wrong (no offence). Place the arm in a vice and heat the bastard until its glowing red around the ball joint. Get a BFH and a BF cold chisel and belt **** out of that ball joint between the a-arm and ball joint until it comes out. Consider the process anger management.

Last edited by alfettaparts2; 03-08-2017 at 12:57 AM. Reason: more info
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post #19 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-08-2017, 11:18 AM Thread Starter
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That's the plan now! I have't tried that yet, it's been very windy here lately so not ideal to try and heat things up, flames being blown out and metal cooling down quickly etc but will attack them as soon as I get a chance. Plenty of other jobs to do though so I've been busy with lots of other parts today.

I think it's just 36 years of never having been changed that's made them so locked in place. Many things have been unnecessarily difficult to remove on this car. These and the crankshaft pulley nut (snap-on air gun running off a big compressor didn't do it, after soaking in penetrant) are all that remain. I'll try heat on the nut, too - perhaps not a chisel though. Hopefully it won't be necessary but as a last-resort measure I'll keep the offer in mind, much appreciated.

1975 Giulia GT1300 Junior, 1981 GTV6, some modern German stuff, and a 1958 Messerschmitt KR201.
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post #20 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-11-2017, 10:00 PM Thread Starter
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Success!
Thanks for the advice, somehow I'm not sure I'd have come up with that idea myself (despite using heat for all the bushing replacements). Still, they didn't come out easily! I had to use a thin chisel at first to get between the gap followed by a slightly thicker, blunter one to open it further and eventually whack a bit sideways to pop them out.
Sure some may disapprove but just like when I changed the same design lower ball joints on my BMW I ever so slightly filed down the splines of the new ones. The holes in the arms were cleaned up and smeared with grease to hopefully prevent them rusting in future. It still required all the force of the press to insert them!
And wow those torsion bars are strong! Easier said than done to put the wheel hubs back on... I connected the lower joint first, jacked up the arm until it started lifting the whole car, then struggled trying to close the gap between the arms with a g-clamp until my dad came over with the idea of putting a crowbar through the hole for the shock on the upper arm and levering downwards, which was a much better idea!
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